The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"[Susan] Howe’s rewriting of history is a scattering more than a gathering, but it is not an undoing." Hélène Aji • Jacket
"[T]he impenetrability of many modern poets is due in large part to the use of language as an abstract medium like paint, clay, or music; [Geoffrey] Hill remains emphatic that the fundamental role of language is communication and expression, no matter how difficult the form." Daniel E. Pritchard • Critical Flame
"[O]nce a symbol of ambition, the epigraph is now more likely to be an indication of community. It tells us less about whom a poet hopes to equal and more about where he’d like to hang out." David Orr on the epigraph • New York Times
"I experience the process of poem-making as a kind of restlessness—that the poem/book is uncomfortable and jangling if it’s not done." Jen Bervin and Nancy Kuhl in conversation with Andrew Mauzey and Michael Dinsmoor • Poetry
"Poetry certainly needs body, but it can get it from the music of its rhythms; it doesn't always have to be sticking to a picture language to stay tactile." Robert Hass • Smartish Pace
"The workshop’s most famous mantras–-‘Murder your darlings,’ ‘Omit needless words,’ ‘Show, don’t tell’–-also betray a view of writing as self-indulgence, an excess to be painfully curbed in AA-type group sessions. Shame also explains the fetish of ‘craft’: an ostensibly legitimising technique, designed to recast writing as a workmanlike, perhaps even working-class skill, as opposed to something every no-good dilettante already knows how to do. Shame explains the cult of persecutedness, a strategy designed to legitimise literary production as social advocacy, and make White People feel better." Elif Batuman • LRB
"Derek Mahon’s body of work, more than that of any other living Irish fiction writer, addresses the global and historical implications of the destructive material excesses of modernisation." Christina Hunt Mahony on ecocriticism • Irish Times
"The underlying metrical pattern, which is the frame, is an abstraction. Think of Mondrian. As Mondrian develops, his work grows more and more abstract; he formulates a geometry. But if you look at a landscape, or if you look at a painting by Cezanne, you see a landscape, and you see its geometry." Phyllis Levin on prosody and Anthony Hecht • Poetry Daily
"And when, after publication, I said that the book ‘divided opinion’, thinking of the four professors around the world (one each from Denmark, Italy, the US and the Irish Republic) whose opinion matched my own, Frank stated flatly that no, opinion about my book was ‘universally bad’." Wynne Godley and others remember Frank Kermode • LRB
"These poems seem utterly vital, the voicing endlessly variant and thrilling as the constant threat of exhaust swells and recedes." Luke Roberts on Stephen Rodefer • Readings
"He drummed on the steering wheel of his car, singing Bon Jovi lyrics, hiding his Irish accent beneath an approximation of Mr. Bon Jovi's Jersey croon." Michael H Miller on Paul Muldoon • New York Observer
"If there’s a better way to spend $50 in a bookstore this weekend, I don’t know what it is." Dwight Garner on Heaney and Muldoon • New York Times
"It is as natural as birdcalls or the sound of crickets. Maybe more so." Daniel E Pritchard on Ben Lerner • Critical Flame
"That he speaks so concisely is a condition of his testament: consecration and concentration are the same thing." Clive James on Samuel Menashe and others • Poetry
"Like all anthologies, this one speaks both to the anticipated tastes of its readers and to the real taste of its compilers." Stephen Burt on The Poet's Tongue • LRB
"The planisphere addresses the stars in a way that was once crucial to success, to survival; now, it is not only the un-modern device of the chart, but the very reading of stars that is outmoded and expendable. The world acts in ways unimaginable to those ancient sailors." Daniel E. Pritchard on John Ashbery • Critical Flame
"[W]e see for the first time a deliberate probing of the self, a consideration of where the physical body ends and where the interior self begins, as well as the way these two entities interpenetrate." Nora Delaney on Henri Cole • Critical Flame
"Merrill recalls that his first reaction to the Ouija material was that it couldn't be used, that it would be like 'cheating or plagiarizing'." John Greening • The Dark Horse (pdf)
"Yeats replied to an Indian visitor, who had asked him if he had a message for Asia, by grasping a Japanese sword and saying: “Conflict. More conflict.” He notes too, much later in his book, Yeats writing that when he was a boy he “took satisfaction in certain public disasters, felt a sort of ecstasy at the contemplation of ruin”." John Banville on a new study of Yeats • Irish Times
"The price of developing a commanding voice over several books is that now she always sounds exactly like herself." Jordan Davis on Louise Glück • Constant Critic
"[P]oetry doesn’t exist purely for middle-class comfort as a means of contemplating the ineffable, but is a very practical way of making the ineffable tangible." John Kinsella on Susan Stewart • Salt
"On one occasion, ill-treatment stimulated his muse there and then: 'Gentlemen, if you please,/ Stop throwing peas.'” Anthony Daniels on William McGonagall • The New Criterion
"In this very rich and substantial collection, Heaney makes frequent use of the tercet stanza, which posterity may indicate he has done much to render a contemporary forma franca." Sean O'Brien on Human Chain • Independent "Human Chain is Heaney’s Book of the Dead, centred on sadness and loss, but for all that containing metaphors and imagery to make looking over the threshold possible." Nick Laird • Sunday Telegraph
"The poet wants to be in the breach brandishing his steel, or on a sandaled pilgrimage, or in the eternal heavens of the spotless mind; he wants to be then and there. Anywhere but here." Josh Wilson on Geoffrey Hill • The New Republic
"The true obligation of the poet is to make the poem well and truly. In doing that, she discharges every obligation an artist owes a society." Eavan Boland • Smartish Pace
"If you're inspired to jump into the sea from a height, please do it with due care." Carol Rumens on Vona Groarke • Guardian
"The speaker is confident about his authority to speak; he goes at his subject head-on. Secondly, the speaker is confident about the capacity of language to point with subtlety and discrimination, even when being implicit." Tony Hoagland on Oppen and others • Poetry
"What is it about Emily Dickinson that invites metaphors of war and violence?" Christopher Benfey • New York Times
"The idea is that this is the line of Follain, a loose notion of elective affinity rather than a school or tradition." Peter Sirr on a new anthology of French poetry • Poetry Ireland Review

New poems

Kyoko Uchida Georgia Review

Gary Langford Deep South (pdf, scroll down)

A.M. Juster New Criterion

Vona Groarke Irish Times

Deryn Rees-Jones Poetry International

Corey Marks Threepenny Review

Jane Draycott Poetry International

Paul Muldoon Guardian

Arthur Vogelsang Boston Review

Hasina Gul Granta

Jeongrye Choi Free Verse

Jordan Davis Sixth Finch

Georg Trakl Action Yes

Seamus Heaney Guardian

Peter Munro Boxcar

Conchitina Cruz Diagram

Bob Hicok Conduit

Daisy Fried Poetry

Marianne Boruch Georgia Review


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The Page is edited by John McAuliffe, Vincenz Serrano and, since September 2013, Evan Jones at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester. It was founded in October 2004 by Andrew Johnston, who edited it until October 2009.
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